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Categorized | From the Pulpit, News

Do not be afraid

Do not be afraid

By Pastor Jon Huizenga 

Phone: 616 485-6943

website – www.riseupcedar.org

Facebook @riseupchurch

Email – info@riseupcedar.org

Hi neighbors! I am new to this “From the Pulpit” article. So, if we have not met before, it’s nice to meet you.

Our circumstances have been scary lately. You might be afraid of catching the virus. Or you could be afraid of how this is impacting your work or your school. Maybe you are afraid of the politics of it all. Like me, you could be afraid of how much isolation you can handle. (Staying at home and never going out is not my first choice for a good time!)

This general community nervousness has me thinking about the many times Jesus says, “Do not be afraid,” to people. He says it a lot.

One example is in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus herds his disciples into a boat to get away from the crowd after a long day. His disciples are experienced boat handlers (they are fishermen), but a storm comes up that is nearly swamping their boat. They are genuinely afraid, even though they are professionals. Jesus, however, is sleeping on a boat cushion like a baby. When they wake him up, he gets up, rebukes the wind and the waves, and the wind and waves obey him. Their fear of the storm ended, but now they were afraid of the power of Jesus!

In the story, the fear of the disciples seems to come from four things: 1. They failed to take note of the peace of Jesus.  (He was not afraid, was there really a reason for them to fear?) 2. They failed to take note of the presence of Jesus.  (If Jesus is in your boat, do you need to be afraid?) 3. They failed to take note of the power of Jesus (If someone tells the wind to stop and it does, you might be in the presence of God.) 4. They failed to take note of the personality of Jesus. (In their fear they shouted, “Don’t you care?” In fact, Jesus both cares and has power.)

Our current boat of life is a little stormy right now, don’t you think? How might our fear be different if we asked, “Where is Jesus at this moment?” The peace, presence, power and personality of Jesus change things.

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